Here's the scoop: I like all kinds of music really, but I hate when you ask people "What kind of music do you like?" and they say "All kinds - except country (or, insert other demonized genre of choice)." When I list specific bands or artists I like, people typically give me a blank stare or say "Never heard of 'em," and then run far away. However, given the chance to actually hear the stuff in question, people often nod and admit that maybe that doesn't sound so bad, they were just never exposed to it before.

So here we go. I've taken it upon myself to start exposing people to new (or old) music I love and am passionate about in the hope that it will broaden their horizons and open them up to something they might not have considered before. I always appreciate when someone does the same for me. If you think my taste is shit, that's cool. If you've already heard of it and don't give a shit, okay. If you've never heard it but can't believe what you've been missing, well awesome! I hope someone will get something out of it. As much as I enjoy sharing and talking about music, I know I will.

The first band I want to talk about is Stars. They are an off-shoot of the Canadian indie rock collective Broken Social Scene (which also contains singer Feist and members of the band Metric, to name only a couple). Vocals are handled by Torquil Campbell and Amy Millan in a male-female back and forth that almost always enhances each song, whether it's about the pain of relationships or the current political climate.

They have had four albums, but their 2004 release Set Yourself on Fire was their break-out masterpiece. Their current album, In Our Bedroom After the War, is a solid piece but can't quite live up to the brilliance of its predecessor. However, the first single "Take Me to the Riot" (posted below) is a perfect slice of Morrissey-ish pop.

A good example of the interplay between Campbell and Millan can be found in Fire's "Your Ex-Lover is Dead":

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